Monday, August 21, 2017
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Tags Posts tagged with "beauty"


by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

With the 2015 Budget announcement just behind us, and the General Election looming large on the horizon, talk of the economy and finance is everywhere right now, prompting many of us to question how any changes may impact our own personal finances, and perhaps re-consider some of our spending habits.

Economics may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about beauty, but when it comes to making money the UK beauty industry is a major player. With an estimated value of £17 billion in 2014, employing more than 1 million people and forecast to grow by 16% by 2016 the beauty business is showing no signs of slowing down. So, as individual consumers how does our beauty spending stack up?

Well, the figures are no less impressive; in 2014 online hair and beauty retailer conducted research on 640 women revealing that, on average, women’s make-up bags contain sixteen items, adding up to a total value of £231.

Research into longer term spending found that over a lifetime British women spend approximately £40,000 on cutting, colouring and styling services at the hairdressers, and an eye watering £100,000 on cosmetics.

untitledWith those startling statistics in mind it makes sense for us to save money where we can, but as pampering makes us feel good, and we all deserve a treat I’m not suggesting compromising on product quality or sacrificing indulgences, but instead taking a more savvy approach to how we choose and use our products, to make the most of our beauty budgets.

To help here are my top 5 thrifty beauty tips:

Learn about ingredients to compare products and snare bargains – It may involve spending a little more time in the beauty aisles reading labels, but a bit of product knowledge goes a long way. Many products contain very similar ingredients, so if you know what you’re looking for you can make sizeable savings choosing a lower priced product over a premium brand that does the same job. Also, consider having a make-up lesson to learn which make-up products and colours work best for you, to avoid potentially costly mistakes. Always get colour matched when choosing foundation as skin tone changes throughout the year, and if you’re unsure about a product ask if you can get a sample to try.

Make use of multi-taskers – If you can get more than one use from a product it immediately makes it better value for money. Look out for oils that can be used on both skin and hair, lip and cheek stains, or eyeshadow that doubles up as brow powder.

Apply-foundationProtect your products – All cosmetic products have a shelf life, and it can be unsafe to use them beyond that date, but to ensure that you get the best results from them, for as long as possible, avoid leaving the lids off for any longer than is necessary, as some ingredients react to oxygen causing them to breakdown and become ineffective. Exposure to heat or sunlight can also damage products so don’t store them on the bathroom windowsill.

Use the right amount of product – Many of us use way too much product and could save money simply by using the correct amount and avoiding waste. Not sure how much to use? Here’s a rough guide: Eye cream = a grain of rice (per eye), Cleanser = pea, Face moisturiser = 5p piece Shampoo and conditioner = 10p or 50p piece depending on hair length Body lotion = a shot glass.

Use every last drop – Make sure your product is really finished before you throw it away. There can be a surprising amount of product left in a tube that appears to be empty if you cut in in half for the last use. Also, resist the temptation to buy new products before completely using up old ones.

Give these tips a try to get the most from your products and your beauty budget – looking good doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny!

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Twitter: @sltaylormakeup



By Sarah Taylor

By Sarah Taylor
By Sarah Taylor

It’s finally time to wave goodbye to the cold, dark winter months and welcome the warmer, brighter days of spring.

As spring is the season of rejuvenation and growth it’s the perfect time to make a fresh start with your beauty routine, restore vitality to your skin and hair, and lift your spirits – which may all have suffered from the harsh effects of winter.

To help, here’s my top-to-toe guide to get your routine ready for the new season.


Throughout winter constant exposure to cold weather and indoor heating can leave hair feeling parched. So show your locks some TLC with a deep conditioning treatment to add moisture and restore shine. Argan oil and coconut oil are particularly nourishing, and are both great multi-taskers as they can also be used on the skin and nails. If your hair has spent most of winter hidden beneath a hat, or it’s been a while since your last salon visit then why not give it a new lease of life with a different style or change of colour?


As the temperature increases so can skins natural oil production, meaning that some of the rich moisturising products recommended to protect the skin during winter may be too heavy for the warmer seasons. Unless your skin is particularly dry switch to a lighter formula, swap liquid or cream foundation for a tinted moisturiser (or BB or CC cream which have additional skin boosting benefits) and ensure that the product you are using contains SPF, or use a separate sunscreen.


After months hidden under layers of winter clothes skin can become dry and dull looking. Get it glowing again by exfoliating once or twice a week with a gentle scrub, or give body brushing a try. To do this, use a natural bristled body brush, working upwards from the soles of the feet using firm strokes, and always brush towards the heart. Body brushing is a great habit to get into as it offers a multitude of benefits. Not only does it eliminate dead skin cells, but also boosts circulation, aids lymphatic drainage and improves the texture and tone of the skin.

Hands and Feet

Cold weather really takes a toll on the hands causing them to become very dry, or even chapped. If your hands become painful it affects almost everything you do, so it’s important to take care of them all year round. To keep hands soft and smooth avoid washing them with harsh soaps or very hot water. Dry them thoroughly and apply moisturiser immediately afterwards to lock in hydration. For a more intensive, restorative treatment apply a rich handcream (look for one containing glycerin) last thing at night, pop on a pair of cotton gloves and leave them on overnight.

Finally, throughout winter feet are often overlooked, once party season is over they are rarely seen and are easily forgotten about until summer, so now is a good time to pay them some well deserved attention with an at-home pedicure. Begin by trimming and shaping the nails, if you have areas of rough skin on your feet remove it gently with a specialist foot file. Next, soak your feet for at least five minutes in a bowl of warm water. I recommend adding Epsom salts as they help soften the skin, then towel dry your feet and rub in a rich moisturiser, oil or foot cream. To finish paint your nails your favourite colour, or try a pastel or barely there shade which two of the biggest nail trends for spring 2015.

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Twitter: @sltaylormakeup


By Sarah Taylor
By Sarah Taylor

Disappearing make-up is one of the most common make-up frustrations clients talk to me about, and while it seems that some people’s skin simply doesn’t hold make-up as well as others, if you find that your make-up doesn’t even make it through to lunchtime there are a number of things you can do to help keep your ‘face’ in place all day.

Preparing your skin

Firstly you need to ensure that you are using the right skincare products, to avoid creating problems before you begin applying any make-up. For example, if you have a tendency towards oily skin and your moisturiser is too heavy then anything you apply on top of it is likely to slide off very soon after. Alternatively, if your skin is dry or images9O3W80OGdehydrated it will seek to absorb moisture from any products you put on it – in effect drinking your foundation! It is also important to allow your moisturiser a few minutes to sink in properly before applying any subsequent products.

The next step is to use a primer, which can make a huge difference to the staying power of your make-up, creating a smooth even skin texture, and acting as an anchor for any products you apply on top of it. Also, many primers available now work double-duty to help minimise other skincare concerns such as enlarged pores, fine lines or redness, so they really are a worthwhile investment.


When it comes to foundation oil free formulations tend to be the most long lasting, but untitled (11)if your skin requires you to use a more hydrating formula then it’s vital to set it with a loose or pressed powder. Some people can be wary of powder, believing it can look heavy or cakey, but this can easily be avoided by choosing a microfine powder, applying only a light layer, pressing it into the skin using a powder puff with a rolling motion, and then dusting away any excess with a large powder brush.

If you are applying any products over your base such as blusher or illuminator I advise sticking with powder products, as it’s possible that oil based creamy formulations may cause your foundation to break down.


Eyelids can be quite oily so take a sweep of loose powder over them before applying images8827CIA3any other products. Eyemakeup primers help to prevent eyeshadow from sliding off or creasing, and some have the added bonus of making the colours appear more vibrant. Use waterproof mascara, and opt for gel eyeliners over pencil products as they are much more resilient, but if you do use a pencil trace over the line with a similar coloured eyeshadow to set it. If you’re using powder eyeshadows try applying them with a damp brush, as this will give a more durable result.


As with the skin ensure that the lips are well moisturised, then outline and fill in the imagesWDKMA3F0entire lip with lip-liner in a tone similar to your lipstick colour. Apply a light layer of lipstick with a brush, as this presses the pigment deeper into the lips than applying directly from the tube, blot the lips and apply another layer.

Finally, if you know you’re in for an exceptionally long day, or are attending a special event then you may wish to set your make-up with a fixing spray, which works like hairspray for your face, however, for your day-to-day look making a few small changes to your products and routine should make vanishing make-up a thing of the past.

Bradford born Make-up Artist Sarah Taylor has undertaken extensive training in the field of make-up artistry. Building on her existing HND in Beauty Therapy and Media Make-up from Bradford College, Sarah graduated from Vancouver Film School, Canada in 2010 Sarah002 (2)with a Diploma in Make-up Design for Film and Television and since returning to Yorkshire has gained experience working across a range of industries, and built a loyal client base.

Along with providing make-up lessons and special occasion make-up for individual clients Sarah has also worked with numerous award winning photographers, Al Jazeera Television, Leeds based charity Getaway Girls, the Teenage Cancer Trust at Leeds General Infirmary and regularly works as a volunteer Make-up Artist and independent Skin Camouflage Practitioner for the Katie Piper Foundation.

Website and social media links



Twitter: @sltaylormakeup




By Sarah Taylor

January is the perfect time to overhaul your beauty routine, make a few simple changes and resolve to make 2015 your most beautiful year yet!



Detox your make-up bag

Many people undertake a New Year detox to recover from the excesses of the holiday season, but when was the last time you gave your make-up bag a serious detox? I recommend taking a ruthless approach to this task so you can start the New Year with a clean beauty slate.

untitled (6)First, go through the contents of your make-up bag and throw out anything that is past it’s expiry date, if you’re not sure when this is look on the packaging for a symbol of an open pot containing a number next to the letter M, this is the number of months that the product can be used for once it has been opened. Next to go should be any products that have visibly changed, such as liquid products that have become dry, or have separated, and any item with badly damaged packaging.

Finally, get rid of anything that no longer suits you, or you never use. Your make-up collection needs to suit both your personal style and the skin you have now, not that of several years ago, so if it doesn’t meet either one of these criteria it has to go!

Break out of your comfort zone

imagesFH2SJ7UUHaving a streamlined make-up collection makes it easier to add in new products to avoid getting stuck in a make-up rut. If you tend to wear the same lipstick everyday why not try a different shade, or a gloss? Or perhaps liven up your usual look with a slick of bright coloured eyeliner? A make-up artist, or beauty counter consultant can help you experiment with new looks so you can try before you buy.

Invest in some good quality brushes …

Good quality make-up brushes are a worthwhile investment as not only do they make product application easier, but also help you achieve a more professional looking result and if you take good care of them they can last for years. The choice of brushes available is seemingly endless, but as a starting point I’d recommend the following basic selection: foundation, concealer, 2x eyeshadow (one large, one small) eyebrow, blusher/bronzer and large powder.

… And clean them regularly!

Sarah002 (2)Make-up brushes can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which could cause skin and eye infections, so it’s really important to clean them regularly. There are many liquid or spray brush cleansers available which are easy and convenient to use, or you can wash them using a gentle shampoo, I like to use one containing tea tree oil for it’s antibacterial properties.

Always remove your make-up before bed

Most of us are guilty of crawling into bed with our make-up still intact every once in a while, but is sleeping in your make-up really all that bad? Unfortunately, the answer is most definitely yes! Not removing make-up properly before bed can lead to a host of skin issues from blocked pores and irritation to collagen breakdown, which accelerates aging of the skin. This is caused by pollutants that are picked up from the environment throughout the day remaining on the skin overnight, inhibiting microcirculation and optimum skin renewal. So, to avoid these preventable skin problems cleanse your skin thoroughly before bed, and for those nights when that isn’t an option use a facial cleansing wipe to remove as much of your make-up as possible.

If you’re thinking of making some beauty resolutions why not give these five a try? Stick with them, and your skin will reap the benefits all year.



Bradford born Make-up Artist Sarah Taylor has undertaken extensive training in the field of make-up artistry. Building on her existing HND in Beauty Therapy and Media Make-up from Bradford College, Sarah graduated from Vancouver Film School, Canada in 2010 with a Diploma in Make-up Design for Film and Television and since returning to Yorkshire has gained experience working across a range of industries, and built a loyal client base.

Along with providing make-up lessons and special occasion make-up for individual clients Sarah has also worked with numerous award winning photographers, Al Jazeera Television, Leeds based charity Getaway Girls, the Teenage Cancer Trust at Leeds General Infirmary and regularly works as a volunteer Make-up Artist and independent Skin Camouflage Practitioner for the Katie Piper Foundation.

Sarah is delighted to be joining the Urban Echo team.

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Winter Skin Survival Guide

Throughout winter plunging temperatures, harsh weather conditions and central heating take a heavy toll on the skin, causing it to feel uncomfortable or itchy, become dry or dehydrated, and appear dull.

If your skin is suffering from such winter woes there are several simple steps you can take restore its radiance and vitality. Here’s what to do …

Sarah002 (2)

Firstly, you must protect your skin from the elements by wearing sunscreen every day. Sun damage impairs the skins ability to function properly, including maintaining normal moisture levels and skin cell turnover, which are both vital for healthy looking skin, so protecting it from further damage is crucial.

Use a gentle cleansing product that is suitable for your skin type. Creamy cleansers work best for dry skin, lighter lotions or gels are better for oilier skin types, and newer micellar cleansers are a great option for skin that is prone to redness or sensitivity. Be careful not to drag or scrub your skin, or use water that is very hot, and avoid using soap, as all these things can contribute to further dryness and irritation.

Exfoliate once or twice a week with a gentle grain or fruit enzyme based product. Exfoliation is a vital step to overcome dullness and dryness as it helps turn over the top layer of skin, revealing the newer and smoother skin cells beneath. This also enables other skincare products to be better absorbed, giving optimum results.

Follow with a moisturiser containing ingredients that target your specific concerns, if your problem is dry or damaged skin look for a product rich in anti-oxidant ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Resveratrol or Grape Seed Extract as these will fight free radical damage and increase skins resilience. For redness and irritation choose calming ingredients like Aloe, Bisabolol, Chamomile and Oatmeal. All skin types need to maintain hydration so go for products containing ingredients that attract water to the skin such as natural Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid or Panthenol.

Finally, add a plant-based oil such as jojoba or safflower, or a serum to your routine, as they offer additional nourishment, or contain a higher concentration of skin repairing ingredients than regular moisturizing products. For maximum results apply these at night when the skin is most receptive due to it’s raised temperature and more porous top layer, allowing better absorption of active ingredients. Take a few minutes to massage the oil into the skin using upward movements, this will help boost circulation, firm and lift the skin, improve radiance and get your glow back!